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Title:
WEIGHTED SHIN GUARD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/080688
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A weighted shin guard is designed to be worn during exercise for building strength, endurance and speed. The weighted shin guard moves the weight from the ankle to the shin, where it is no longer putting a strain on the ankle joint and affecting joint movement. The weighted shin guard is similar in size and shape to traditional shin guards, and can be worn discreetly, unlike other conventional ankle or shin strapped weights. In addition, the weighted shin guard includes the built-in functionality of protecting the shin from impact, enabling the user to switch seamlessly between traditional shin guards and weighted shin guards.

Inventors:
DHILLON, Gary (Surrey, British Columbia V3Z 0E2, CA)
Application Number:
US2020/048200
Publication Date:
April 29, 2021
Filing Date:
August 27, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DHILLON, Gary (Surrey, British Columbia V3Z 0E2, CA)
International Classes:
A63B71/12; A41D13/05; F41H1/02
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LIN, Vic (LLP19800 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 28, Irvine California, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A weighted shin guard comprising: an exterior layer providing impact resistance; a weighted material layer disposed behind the exterior layer; and an inner padding layer disposed behind the weighted material layer.

2. The weighted shin guard of claim 1, wherein the weighted material layer is formed from a metal.

3. The weighted shin guard of claim 2, wherein the metal is stainless steel.

4. The weighted shin guard of claim 1, further comprising an outer padding layer disposed between the exterior layer and the weighted material layer.

5. The weighted shin guard of claim 4, wherein the outer padding layer is formed as a foam layer.

6. The weighted shin guard of claim 1, wherein the inner padding layer is formed as a foam layer.

7. The weighted shin guard of claim 1, wherein the exterior layer further provides impact absorption.

8. The weighted shin guard of claim 1, wherein the weighted material layer includes at least weighted material layers disposed adjacent each other.

9. The weighted shin guard of claim 1, wherein the exterior layer, the weighted material layer and the inner padding layer are integrated into a single unit.

10. The weighted shin guard of claim 1, further comprising a surface pattern disposed on an exterior face of the exterior layer.

11. A weighted shin guard, comprising: an exterior layer providing impact resistance and impact absorption; at least one metal layer disposed behind the exterior layer; and an inner padding layer disposed behind the weighted material layer.

12. The weighted shin guard of claim 11, wherein the at least one metal layer is formed from stainless steel.

13. The weighted shin guard of claim 11, further comprising an outer padding layer disposed between the exterior layer and the weighted material layer.

14. The weighted shin guard of claim 11, wherein the at least one metal layer includes at least two metal layers disposed adjacent each other.

15. The weighted shin guard of claim 11, wherein the exterior layer, the at least one metal layer and the inner padding layer are integrated into a single unit.

16. A method for providing supplemental below-the-ankle weight and shin protection to a user during an exercise, comprising: applying a weighted shin guard about at least a portion of a shin of the user, the weighted shin guard including an exterior layer providing impact resistance and impact absorption, at least one metal layer disposed behind the exterior layer, and an inner padding layer disposed behind the weighted material layer.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the at least one metal layer includes at least two metal layers disposed adjacent each other.

18. The weighted shin guard of claim 16, wherein the exterior layer, the at least one metal layer and the inner padding layer are integrated into a single unit.

Description:
WEIGHTED SHIN GUARD

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

Embodiments of the invention relate generally to sporting equipment. More particularly, embodiments of the invention relate to a weighted shin guard designed to be discreet while protecting a user’s shin and building a user’s strength, endurance and speed.

2. Description of Prior Art and Related Information

The following background information may present examples of specific aspects of the prior art (e.g., without limitation, approaches, facts, or common wisdom) that, while expected to be helpful to further educate the reader as to additional aspects of the prior art, is not to be construed as limiting the present invention, or any embodiments thereof, to anything stated or implied therein or inferred thereupon.

It is currently impractical to supplement individual and team sports training with below-the-knee weights such as ankle weights, particularly in sports where the participant is also required to wear a shin guard. Ankle weights put a load on the ankle joint and can cause serious injuries when used over time. The ankle weight pulls on the ankle joint every time the user lifts their foot, and generates an impact when user puts their foot down, which adversely affects natural movement as well as causing the user discomfort. Due to the weight being concentrated at a joint, the ankle weight significantly alters natural movements and leads to poor running form.

Due to the bulky design of traditional ankle weights, they become a physical obstruction while performing various movements requiring close proximity of the user’s ankles, such as when crossing legs while performing speed ladder drills.

In view of the foregoing, there is a need for a below-the-knee weight that can be worn while exercising or performing sports without risking the health or mobility of the user. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention provide a weighted shin guard comprising an exterior layer providing impact resistance; a weighted material layer disposed behind the exterior layer; and an inner padding layer disposed behind the weighted material layer.

In some embodiments, the weighted material layer is formed from a metal. In some embodiments, the metal is stainless steel.

In some embodiments, the weighted shin guard includes an outer padding layer disposed between the exterior layer and the weighted material layer. In some embodiments, the outer padding layer and the inner padding layer are formed as a foam layer.

In some embodiments, the exterior layer further provides impact absorption.

In some embodiments, the weighted material layer includes at least weighted material layers disposed adjacent each other.

In some embodiments, the exterior layer, the weighted material layer and the inner padding layer are integrated into a single unit.

Embodiments of the present invention further provide a weighted shin guard, comprising an exterior layer providing impact resistance and impact absorption; at least one metal layer disposed behind the exterior layer; and an inner padding layer disposed behind the weighted material layer.

Embodiments of the present invention also provide a method for providing supplemental below-the-ankle weight and shin protection to a user during an exercise comprising applying a weighted shin guard about at least a portion of a shin of the user, the weighted shin guard including an exterior layer providing impact resistance and impact absorption, at least one metal layer disposed behind the exterior layer, and an inner padding layer disposed behind the weighted material layer.

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following drawings, description and claims. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Some embodiments of the present invention are illustrated as an example and are not limited by the figures of the accompanying drawings, in which like references may indicate similar elements. FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a weighted shin guard according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates an end view of the weighted shin guard of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates an exploded perspective view of the weighted shin guard of

FIG. 1; FIG. 4 illustrates perspective view of a pair of weighted shin guards according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates a front view of the pair of weighted shin guards of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 illustrates a top perspective view of one of the pair of weighted shin guards of FIG. 4; and FIG. 7 illustrates an exploded perspective view of one of the pair of weighted shin guards of FIG. 4.

Unless otherwise indicated illustrations in the figures are not necessarily drawn to scale.

The invention and its various embodiments can now be better understood by turning to the following detailed description wherein illustrated embodiments are described. It is to be expressly understood that the illustrated embodiments are set forth as examples and not by way of limitations on the invention as ultimately defined in the claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS AND BEST

MODE OF INVENTION

The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. As used herein, the term "and/or" includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items. As used herein, the singular forms "a," "an," and "the" are intended to include the plural forms as well as the singular forms, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms "comprises" and/or "comprising," when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof.

Unless otherwise defined, all terms (including technical and scientific terms) used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one having ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. It will be further understood that terms, such as those defined in commonly used dictionaries, should be interpreted as having a meaning that is consistent with their meaning in the context of the relevant art and the present disclosure and will not be interpreted in an idealized or overly formal sense unless expressly so defined herein.

In describing the invention, it will be understood that a number of techniques and steps are disclosed. Each of these has individual benefit and each can also be used in conjunction with one or more, or in some cases all, of the other disclosed techniques. Accordingly, for the sake of clarity, this description will refrain from repeating every possible combination of the individual steps in an unnecessary fashion. Nevertheless, the specification and claims should be read with the understanding that such combinations are entirely within the scope of the invention and the claims.

In the following description, for purposes of explanation, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. It will be evident, however, to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. The present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated by the figures or description below.

As is well known to those skilled in the art, many careful considerations and compromises typically must be made when designing for the optimal configuration of a commercial implementation of any device, and in particular, the embodiments of the present invention. A commercial implementation in accordance with the spirit and teachings of the present invention may be configured according to the needs of the particular application, whereby any aspect(s), feature(s), function(s), result(s), component(s), approach(es), or step(s) of the teachings related to any described embodiment of the present invention may be suitably omitted, included, adapted, mixed and matched, or improved and/or optimized by those skilled in the art, using their average skills and known techniques, to achieve the desired implementation that addresses the needs of the particular application.

Broadly, embodiments of the present invention provide a weighted shin guard that is designed to be worn during exercise for building strength, endurance and speed. The weighted shin guard moves the weight from the ankle to the shin, where it is no longer putting a strain on the ankle joint and affecting joint movement. The weighted shin guard is similar in size and shape to traditional shin guards, and can be worn discreetly, unlike other conventional ankle or shin strapped weights. In addition, the weighted shin guard includes the built-in functionality of protecting the shin from impact, enabling the user to switch seamlessly between traditional shin guards and weighted shin guards.

As described above, it is currently very difficult to supplement individual and team sports training with below-the-knee weights such as ankle weights. Ankle weights put a load on the ankle joint and can cause serious injuries when used over time. When a user of ankle weights lifts his foot off the ground, the ankle weight pulls on the ankle joint, which adversely affects natural movement. Embodiments of the present invention solves these problems associated with conventional ankle weights.

The weighted shin guard, according to embodiments of the present invention, moves the weight from the ankle, as with conventional ankle weights, to the shin. At this position, the weight it is no longer putting a strain on the ankle joint. Prior to the weighted shin guard of the present invention, the use of ankle weight during team sports trainings was extremely limited. Aspects of the present invention make it possible to enhance the benefits of individual and team trainings to include additional strength, conditioning, and speed training. When using ankle weights while striking a soccer ball with the inside of the foot, for example, the ankle weight comes in contact with the ball, altering the trajectory of the ball and making the ankle weights impractical for use during training.

Aspects of the present invention can also be used to simulate and train for end- of-game and overtime scenarios where athletes suffer from “heavy legs”. These types of simulations cannot be effectively performed using any currently existing product.

The weighted shin guard design according to embodiments of the present invention moves the weight from the ankle to the shin, where it is no longer putting a strain on the ankle joint and affecting joint movement. As described below, the weighted shin guard can be contoured to the shin like a traditional shin guard so it will not be a physical obstruction during walks, workouts and sporting activities.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 3, a weighted shin guard 10, also referred to simply as shin guard 10, can include an outer surface pattern 16 on an outer face 24 and can include a plurality of holes 20 at edges thereof for the user to strap the shin guard 10 on during use. The holes 20 may be similar to that of conventional shin guards that permit them to be worn during sporting events, practices, or the like.

The weighted shin guard 10 may be formed from a plurality of layers. The embodiment of FIGS. 1 through 3 illustrate a four-layer design. As described further below, while certain designs are shown, variations in the layers, combining layers, or removing layers may be contemplated within the scope of the present invention.

The weighted shin guard 10 can include an exterior layer 18 that may be formed from a rigid, semi-rigid or flexible material. In some embodiments, the exterior layer 18 may be formed from a hard plastic. The exterior layer outer face 24 of the exterior layer 18 can include a textured surface or may be smooth, depending on the particular application.

An outer padding layer 16 can be disposed behind the exterior layer 18. The outer padding layer may be made from a soft or compressive material, such as foam, rubber, or the like. The outer padding layer 16 may be typically from about 1 to about 4 mm in thickness and may provide shock absorption upon an impact with the exterior layer 18.

A weighted material layer 14 may be disposed behind the outer padding layer 16. The weighted material layer 14 may be formed from a relatively dense material, such as a metal. In some embodiments, the weighted material layer 14 may be formed from stainless steel having a thickness, typically, from about 3 to about 10mm, for example.

An inner padding layer 12 may provide an inner surface 22 for engaging against the user. The inner padding layer may be formed from various materials and may be made from the same or different materials as the outer padding layer 16. The inner padding layer 12 may be from about 2 to about 6 mm in thickness and may provide impact absorption.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 through 7, a weighted shin guard 50 can be similar to the weighted shin guard 10, described above, where the outer layer 52 may, effectively, combine the exterior layer 18 and the outer padded layer 16 described above in weighted shin guard 10. For example, a thermoplastic vulcanizate, such as Santoprene rubber, may be used as the outer layer 52, thus providing the impact resistance of the hard plastic exterior layer 18 and impact absorption of the outer padding layer 16 (of the weighted shin guard 10, described above) in a single outer layer 52. Similar to exterior layer 18, the outer layer 52 can have a surface pattern 60 or may be formed smooth, depending on the particular application.

The weighted shin guard 50 can include a first weighted material layer 54 and a second weighted material layer 56. The weighted material layers 54, 56 may be similar to the weighted material layer 14. The weighted material layers 54, 56 may be formed from the same or different materials, such as stainless steel, as a non-limiting example. While two weighted material layers 54, 56 are shown, a single weighted material layer may be used that may vary in thickness depending on the desired weight needed for the weighted shin guard 50.

An interior layer 58 may be similar to the inner padding layer 12 of the weighted shin guard 10, described above. While no holes are shown in the weighted shin guard 50, similar to holes 20 of the weighted shin guard 10, such holes may be used in in the weighted shin guard 50 to provide an ability to strap the shin guards in place. The shin guards 50 may include a right shing guard 50 A and a left shin guard 50B. An upper exterior part of the shin guards 50A, 50B may provided for an extended corner 64 thereof. The extended corner 64 may follow an exterior edge 62 of the shin guard that may extend about at least a portion of the user’s exterior shin. While a particular shape is shown for the shin guards 10, 50, it should be understood that the particular size and shape may vary depending on user choice, application and the like.

Elastic straps with hook and loop fasteners or compression socks/sleeves (not shown) can used to keep the shin weight in place. Of course, other mechanisms to place and hold the weighted shin guard in place may be used with the weighted shin guard of the present invention.

The weighted material layer 14, 54, 56 can be cut to shape, bent to the contour of a shin and shaped like traditional shin guards. The outer padding layer 16, if used, and the inner padding layer 12, 58 can be cut to the same shape. The layers of the shin guard 10, 50 can be attached using adhesive, screws, bolts, or other fusing processes. It should be understood that the layers can be fused together into a single integrated weighted shin guard. In some embodiments, once formed, the weighted layers and the intermediate layers are not separable.

In some embodiments, the weighted material layer 14, 54, 56 can form the exterior layer, thus removing the need for the exterior layer and, if present, the outer padding layer. In some embodiments, a pocket may be formed between layers, permitting a user to add additional weight, if desired.

All the features disclosed in this specification, including any accompanying abstract and drawings, may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.

Claim elements and steps herein may have been numbered and/or lettered solely as an aid in readability and understanding. Any such numbering and lettering in itself is not intended to and should not be taken to indicate the ordering of elements and/or steps in the claims.

Many alterations and modifications may be made by those having ordinary skill in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it must be understood that the illustrated embodiments have been set forth only for the purposes of examples and that they should not be taken as limiting the invention as defined by the following claims. For example, notwithstanding the fact that the elements of a claim are set forth below in a certain combination, it must be expressly understood that the invention includes other combinations of fewer, more or different ones of the disclosed elements.

Insubstantial changes from the claimed subject matter as viewed by a person with ordinary skill in the art, now known or later devised, are expressly contemplated as being equivalently within the scope of the claims. Therefore, obvious substitutions now or later known to one with ordinary skill in the art are defined to be within the scope of the defined elements.

The claims are thus to be understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptually equivalent, what can be obviously substituted and also what incorporates the essential idea of the invention.